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Plan Ahead for Wonderful Visits With House Guests

Both You and Your Guests Will Love the Visit

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Plan Ahead for Wonderful Visits With House Guests

A comfortable bed, reading lamp, and bedside table are must-haves for a guest room.

Photo courtesy of Glenna Morton
If you love having family and friends stay at your home, you might have wonderful ideas of your own about how to spend the time together. But if you dread the work, the cooking, the endless deciding what to do, and all the laundry when they leave, you might want to read our tips on entertaining house guests.

The commotion is augmented by already-full days of work, kids' activities, cooking, and running errands. If your schedule includes a visit from family members or special friends, a bit of planning and organization ahead of time will help the time fly and both you and your guests will be looking forward to the next visit.

  • Offer A Small Welcome Gift
    Let your guests know that you're happy they're with you by leaving a small "welcome gift" in their bedroom. And I mean small! A sachet, paperback book, flyers of local attractions at museums or a clipping with movie listings at the movie theater. And a pretty vase with fresh flowers is always a welcome gift! Don't forget a short note to greet them.

  • Plan Every Meal
    Make a schedule of meals for the time your guests will be with you. That doesn't mean that you have to cook for them all. If your visitors are just going to be with you for a couple of days, you might be able to prepare most things ahead of time. If the visit will be longer, include dining out options, both informal and special, call for pizza, and ask your guests to plan and prepare a meal or two. Make a check list of menus and ingredients, how many you'll have to feed, who will be in charge, and who will clean up.

    If you have special activities planned, include the meal start times and departure times so everyone is ready on time.

  • Don't Try to Do It All
    There's no better way to make a house guest feel uncomfortable than to be working, cleaning, and cooking the whole time your guests are with you. Give you and your guests a chance to relax and really enjoy each other. No one will care if the kitchen is sparkling or the sheets are ironed. And when there is work to do, accept every offer wash the dishes or set the table. Be a team and let everyone enjoy!

  • Have a Plan
    Make a written list of things to do and try to have a loose schedule for each day of the visit. Don't waste time planning at the last minute or the time will fly by. Once you've all decided what you'll do, make sure everyone is ready to go as scheduled.

  • Plan for Private Visits and "Down Time"
    Don't schedule every minute of the visit. Be sure you can spend time just visiting, playing card games, assembling a puzzle, reading a book, or doing crossword puzzles. Ask one guest to go on errands with you so you can visit one-on-one. Suggest a special movie for cousins of the same age. Send someone on a mission with one of your children. This "down time" will surely create special memories.

Read about more ways to plan for fun visits with house guests.

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